Fyonfyon's Reviews > A Madness of Angels

A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin
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Feb 14, 12

bookshelves: altered-reality

Couple of points to start with on this one - I love Neverwhere and live in London. With that in mind it's probably no great shock that I picked this one up to read.

Confession time - at first I found the prose style more than a little irritating and difficult to get to grips with. Having encountered this author before in her YA guise I was used to her tightly written and lean prose style which often went hand in hand with plenty of action. Now she's writing for the grown ups it seemed at first that she was trying a little too hard to differentiate herself from that YA style. The descriptions seemed a little portentious and interferred with my appreciation of the action - especially though that sort to explain or describe the various areas of London. In fact, if I hadn't been stuck in a small Scottish cottage with no phone, no TV, no internet and no way of going anywhere except by boat in the middle of the pissing rain, I probably would have sighed heavily and abandoned the book.

I'm really, really, really glad I didn't. Once the plot got going - and especially, exceptionally, once the battles commenced and bodies started building up, then I was fully going with the flow. Kate Griffin knows how to do set pieces - and these were tremendous, visual, creative and soaked through with blood, ink and all sorts of modern magic trappings. THIS was what I'd been expecting from the first page.

Neverwhere is probably still the best comparison for this book, though it's a lot more focused and less whimsical than Gaiman tends to be. It retains a nasty streak and once it finds its feet, it's downright fabulous. It also improves on a second reading - once you're familiar with the main character and his particular situation, then those initial few chapters are far from the jarring slog I found first time around.

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